Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism Earns Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) Designation
Raceland, Louisiana (July 15, 2020) – Today Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism, the destination marketing and management organization for Lafourche Parish, received a Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) seal from Destinations International, an association dedicated to elevating the tourism industry to its highest potential. The organization informs and inspires its members to ensure that tourism is both an economic engine for their communities and a way to improve the quality of life for visitors and locals alike. The DMAP accreditation recognizes a tourism bureau’s commitment to meeting the highest standards of performance in the tourism industry.
Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism took things one step further by achieving “accreditation with distinction,” an honor reserved for those tourism offices that go well beyond meeting the required standards of accreditation. Lafourche Parish is one of just a handful of small destinations in the country to achieve this high honor.
As part of Destinations International’s goals of building a worldwide tourism community, serving as a collective voice for the industry, conducting relevant research, and providing professional development across the industry, the organization encourages all its members to work toward earning DMAP certification. Achieving this accreditation demonstrates that a tourism bureau is a valued organization within its community and the entire tourism industry. Only a few hundred destinations in the United States have met the rigorous standards dictated by the accreditation program.
To earn a DMAP seal, an organization must complete a lengthy and comprehensive application process to demonstrate compliance with a series of industry standards that span such topics as governance, finance, management, human resources, technology, visitor services, group services, sales, communications, membership, brand management, destination development, research and marketing intelligence, innovation, and stakeholder relationships.
Newly accredited organizations are typically recognized by Destinations International at its annual convention in July. This year’s convention is being held as a virtual event, and today the most recent class of tourism offices to achieve accreditation were honored by their industry peers.
“We wanted to go through the DMAP process to ensure that our standards for successful destination management and marketing aligned with our industry’s national standard,” said LCBT president and CEO Timothy Bush. “Achieving our accreditation is a huge accomplishment that lets our community partners and elected leaders know that Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism is operating at the highest level for our community. Our role will be even more important as we continue to navigate a world that includes COVID-19.”
The DMAP designation is one more way that Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism is proving that tourism can have a significant economic impact on even the smallest communities. The LCBT staff consistently strives to raise awareness of Lafourche Parish as a tourism destination, from completely rebranding the area in 2017 to debuting the Cajun Bayou Food Trail in 2018 to launching the “Remember Lafourche” marketing campaign just a few weeks ago. The office takes pride in developing fresh, award-winning tourism programs that generate regional and national attention.
“This is truly an honor for the board of directors, staff and our entire community,” said LCBT Board Chair Jeremy Punch. “Timothy, along with the support of his team, has transformed Lafourche Parish Tourism into one of our state’s and region’s most respected destination marketing organizations. This designation shows our organization’s commitment to elevating the standards in our community, which helps drive our economy through innovative marketing and strong leadership.”